CommonLit Schools & Districts CommonLit has earned ESSA Tier 3 Certification

Learn why this matters and how your team can use ESSER funds to purchase our full program

CommonLit is deeply committed to ensuring that its comprehensive ELA program works for students.

Over the past several years, our team has conducted rigorous research on the effectiveness of our 360 curriculum. Our most recent study was completed in collaboration with Mathematica, and it included a sample of over 300 schools. The study found that teachers who taught at least 10 lessons from CommonLit 360 saw significantly higher levels of academic growth with their students.

After completing this study, CommonLit was awarded ESSA Tier 3 certification for the effectiveness of its program. For schools and districts that are interested in purchasing CommonLit’s full instructional program, this distinction is critical; it allows schools and districts to tap into additional federal funding.

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In this blog post, we’ll tell you everything that you need to know about the ESSA Tiers of Evidence, federal funding for education under ESSER, and how your purchasing team can seamlessly purchase CommonLit’s full instructional program.

What are ESSA Tiers of Evidence?
In 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) became national law. Focused on state and district decision making, ESSA encourages schools and districts to purchase and implement programs rooted in instructional best practices and featuring evidence of effectiveness.

The law also created four tiers of evidence to measure the effectiveness of programs districts are considering for purchase.

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Tier 4 simply means that a program “demonstrates a rationale” and follows instructional best practices. However, programs with this distinction have not been proven to work through official research.

In order for programs to earn Tier 1, 2, or 3 levels of certification, they must have a strong grounding in instructional best practices and demonstrate strong results when used in classrooms.

To learn all about these Tiers of Evidence, click here.

Why do ESSA Tiers of Evidence Matter?
Post-pandemic results from the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) in 2022 found approximately one-third of 4th and 8th graders in the United States cannot read at even a “basic” level. Due to these results, it is more imperative than ever for teachers to have access to academic materials proven to accelerate student learning. Unfortunately, the majority of the most commonly used ed-tech tools have not undergone rigorous research and have not been proven to drive positive student outcomes.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government passed three funding bills - ESSER I, ESSER II, and ESSER III - that included billions of dollars to support school districts. As part of these bills, at least 20% of district spending needs to be allocated to programs that are evidence-based. Programs with a Tier 1, 2, or 3 Levels of Evidence automatically qualify.

From a financial perspective, schools and districts are heavily incentivized to purchase tools that have received ESSA certification.

Since CommonLit has earned its Tier 3 ESSA certification, your school or district is able to use ESSER funds to unlock access to a range of affordable paid packages.

Interested in Unlocking CommonLit’s Full Instructional Program?
CommonLit partnerships provide robust wrap-around supports to schools and districts, complete with professional development, tech integrations, and access to actionable assessments and data.

Interested in learning more about how you can use government funding with CommonLit? Our team is here to help.

Note: ESSER II funds must be spent by September 30, 2023 and ESSER III funds must be spent by September 30, 2024.